Ask your students to collect pennies from home for (or to donate to) Pennies for Peace to bring hope and educational opportunities to fellow students in Central Asia. Visit Pennies for Peace.org to download their free curriculum designed to teach students how they can have an impact on their world, often in a profound way, one penny at a time. The honest and realistic portrait of how difficult and how long it can take for students and teachers to build relationships based on trust and care. Invite your students to explore their own cultures and make connections to other cultures through the Culture Quilt lesson plan from Pennies for Peace. Wrap this volunteerism into your lessons about the civil rights leader and discuss why the service day’s motto is “Make it a day ON, not a day OFF.”. Teaching is difficult at its very best, and there will always be students who challenge us more than others, classes that just don’t gel, personalities that don’t connect. 18. To help students understand humanitarian efforts and their role as global citizens, engage them in this “Recipe for a School” lesson from Pennies for Peace’s free curriculum for middle school and for high school. What supplies will your school need? With understanding comes tolerance and sympathy, and ultimately a deeper learning experience. Compliment circles are something that I do in my classroom … Or, perhaps even worse: a school that sets aside a special lunchroom table decorated with a tablecloth and silverware for kids who are nice! The truth is that in teaching, the gift we give is us, and far too often we’re inclined to be stingy. 1. Talk with your kids about the difference between handwritten thank-you notes for personal occasions and typed or emailed thank you’s for professional situations. Research has also found that telling stories about extraordinary acts of kindness can inspire altruistic behavior. Here are four of my favorites: 1. Do NOT reward altruistic behavior! Teachers and students will gain To start, children don’t necessarily need encouragement to help others. Children’s book author Yuyi Morales writes a gratitude letter to the librarian who had a big impact on her. We Are Insufficient. I wince every time a parent or teacher tells me how his or her school hands out tickets to students “caught” being kind and then rewards them with gifts or recognition. In this age of quick texts, the sincere thank-you note is becoming a lost art. How will students get to school? Teach your children generosity early in life. Following the methods of the writing study I describe above, ask them to list the specific similarities between themselves and their special person. Keeping students focused on learning can be a challenging task. The seemingly small act of giving and receiving heartfelt, original compliments from fellow students can go a long way toward increasing generosity of spirit. It was just a 2-hour drive and I could pop over, have lunch with him and look him in … Article by Making Time For Mommy. Bell ringers outside of supermarkets, food bank fundraisers at the office, and blanket and toy drives for the houseless remind us of the many ways we can open our hearts through the act of giving. With the holidays upon us, many teachers use this time to encourage students to express the spirit of generosity and kindness—and with good reason: it’s not only a selfless way to help others, research suggests it can also help them enhance their own relationships, health, and happiness. by: GreatSchools Staff | November 15, 2012. Service learning programs like Pennies for Peace often include excellent, free lesson plans and tools to help students better understand the issue or cause that they are supporting. CLASS. Make your classroom a happier place with the use of kindness videos and books. From the GGSC to your bookshelf: 30 science-backed tools for well-being. Lakota anthropologist Ella Deloria described the core value of belonging as being “related, somehow, to everyone you know .” Some traits of healthy belonging include being attached, loving, friendly, cooperative, and trusting. As a simple journal assignment, have students write a handful of sentences about a family member or friend who cares about them. Begin by taking a cookie and cutting it in vastly unequal pieces. Defining compassion is the first step in teaching how to show up for other humans. This month, reflect on the past and look toward the future. Mentors in the dyads or group teach their talents, knowledge, and wisdom to the others. When your kids help you assemble donations, there’s an opportunity to incorporate almost any subject area. Scientists have found that our instinctive capacity for kind behavior is brought out when we feel an emotional connection to others—the operative word being emotional. 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